Despite a flurry of changes in the side after a good outing against Tamil Nadu in Chennai, Delhi will fancy their chances against a determined Gujarat in Ranji Trophy tie beginning Wednesday at Ferozeshah Kotla.
A string of good performances, the most recent being in the Vinoo Mankad U-19 Trophy, has assured Unmukt Chand a place in the side. While Gaurav Chabra replaces an injured Rajat Bhatia, Kapil Yadav comes in for an unfit Parvinder Awana.
The wicket at Ferozeshah Kotla stadium will is expected to be a batting beauty as the International Cricket Council's pitch consultant Andy Atkinson is scheduled to watch the match and evaluate the wicket.
Though seamers may be left struggling on a track that's unlikely to offer them much assistance, the batsman should have it easy. All eyes will be on Virat Kohli, who has scored two back-to-back centuries. The 22-year-old batsman showed little regard to changing pitches, opponents and conditions as he smashed 173 against Bengal at home, and followed it with a crucial 139 in Chennai. The likes of skipper Mithun Manhas and Shikhar Dhawan also are more than capable to keep the Gujarat bowlers guessing.
The visitors, though, have momentum on their side. While Delhi have drawn both their matches and have four points in two matches, Gujarat bagged three points from their opening tie against Railways and went on to register a two-wicket win against Saurashtra at home. While batsmen starred for Gujarat against Railways at the Karnail Singh Stadium, bowlers took collective honours to lead the side to a second round win at home.
The likes of Salil Yadav, Ishwar Choudhary and Ashraf Makda will put Delhi batsmen to the test. The key man, however, will be in-form paceman Siddharth Trivedi. Gujarat will bank on him for breakthroughs.
Both teams will have to battle conditions as well. As hazy mornings lead into dreary afternoons and gloomy evenings, teams will struggle to finish the allotted quota of 90 overs.
Vikas to lead Delhi in Cooch Behar
Vikas Mishra has been named Delhi u-19 skipper for the Cooch Behar Trophy.
Team: Vivek Mishra, Mohit Sharma, Samarth Singh, Dhruv Shorey, Rajiv Bose, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tyagi, Pawan Negi, Amir Baig, Nitin Yadav, Gagan Sodhi, Sandeep Raj Kaushik, Jaideep Chauhan, Sachin Chichi, Gaurav Kochhar, Shivam Sharma.